The island of Moloka‘i is the most rural of Hawai‘i’s five major islands, with a population of 7,400. More than 60% of the island’s residents are of native Hawaiian ancestry.
The intensive development that has occurred on other islands has not yet affected Moloka‘i, where there are no stoplights, no high rise buildings, and no freeways. Moloka‘i residents appreciate the island’s slow pace of life, its family-oriented community values, and its living Hawaiian culture. The island is also unique in that up to 38% of its people rely on subsistence activities such as hunting, fishing and gathering in order to support their families.
Although 45% of Moloka‘i’s residents have incomes below 200% of the federal poverty line, government services are limited due to the island’s relatively small population, and its distance from state and county government headquarters. Private organizations like the Moloka‘i Community Service Council help to fill the gaps in service.